Shakshuka {Gluten Free}

shakshuka

You wake up, you’re tired. Well maybe you aren’t, but I am and I can’t be alone in this feeling…right readers?  On the weekends I often feel like getting up and making breakfast is just too much, can’t I just stay in bed and have Charles (the butler I wish I had) bring me breakfast in bed, Downton Abby style? I mean life is taxing and you are hitting it hard.  Between work, family, obligations, friends, the gym and the home, finding time to make a healthy meal can often feel like panning for gold in the Mississippi, i.e. almost impossible.  So you often fall back on your go-tos; you know, things you make all the time.  Go-tos are a great thing, but go-to them too much and you can get palate fatigue.  You’ve got to spice things up!  Do something different, look outside the box or look to Marcella Rose’s! Well, if Sunday breakfast has you bored, do I have a new breakfast dish for you.  Shakshuka.  It’s fun to say right? Shakshuka!  Well it’s even more fun to make and by fun I mean easy, like crazy easy. Plus it’s insanely delicious and you can probably make it right now with ingredients you already have on-hand.  Some recipes of this dish call for crusty bread which is amazing for scooping up the heavy caramelized sauce but if you’re gluten free it’s amazing by the spoonful or with warm corn tortillas.  Shakshuka recipes often call for feta or goat cheese but really any cheese you have on hand will do, you can make it simple with salt and pepper or you can add spices to take the flavor through the roof.  Again my recipe is below, but play around and make it your own! I always feel it best to break all the rules in the kitchen.  It’s the one safe place to do it right?  Your Le Creuset pan can’t really fire you now can it?  Your olive oil won’t give you a ticket now will it?  So have some fun, spice it up, shake it off, or rather Shakshuka it off, and trust me you will feel like jumping out of bed to make this breakfast.

good morning eggs a blend of parsley, fennel, garlic, sweet paprika, and other spices shakshuka Canned Tomatoes

You will need

  • 3-5 cloves minced garlic – depending on how Italian you are…if you are Sicilian add some more
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 glugs olive oil
  • 1 quart jar of stewed tomatoes (plus the juice)
  • 5 eggs – or more if you have a bigger pan or more mouths to feed
  • Feta (optional)
  • Flat leaf parsley chopped – about 3 tablespoons (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spices – I used a middle eastern blend of a  parsley, fennel, garlic, sweet paprika and other spices

How to

  • Heat a pan over medium high heat and add olive oil
  • Sauté your onion until translucent; about 4 minutes
  • Add garlic, stirring to avoid it burning, until fragrant; about 1 minute
  • Dump in tomatoes and juice, smashing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon
  • Add spices (if using), salt and pepper then stir to incorporate
  • Allow the mixture to simmer until the juice cooks down and you have a thick sauce; about 5 minutes
  • Crack your eggs directly into the tomato mixture and cover with a lid
  • Cook eggs until yolks are soft but still runny; about 3 minutes
  • Top with cheese and parsley
  • Dig in

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Shakshuka for everyone!

Marcella Rose

shakshuka

Beer Tasting Party {Gluten Free}


Beer tasting party

A very dear friend of mine had an epic move recently.  Leaving behind a life in Chicago that she had cultivated for years to turn the chapter on new adventures.  She has taken a huge step boldly and courageously and is such an inspiration to me. She set off in style because, of course, she is fabulous.   I was lucky enough to get to see her around the holidays in the city she had called home for years and where many a high tea, oysters and martinis, and memories were made together.  I was sad not to be able to see her off, to throw her a goodbye celebration, to help her pack, or just to be there, as moving is one of the big stressors in life.  Psychologists say it’s only rivaled by death; shocking!  I found my mind drifting to thoughts of her constantly, worried about her drive over snowy roads, thinking about how her felines would adjust and of course, missing her all the while.  I wanted to do something she would enjoy and having recently turned to a gluten free lifestyle, I started thinking of recipes I could do to honor her.  Then it came to me.  Gluten Free Beer Tasting.  Perfection.  She is a fantastic hostess and I thought what a wonderful way to celebrate new adventure and make new friends by throwing a brassy beer bash that even those with sensitivities to gluten could enjoy.  So, from almost 2,500 miles away I threw a beer tasting party in her honor.

What I love about a tasting party is it gets people talking.  No one pulls out their phones, or talks about work, people are talking about the experience, the flavors; the tastes.  It’s a great way to mingle together different groups of people and a fantastic way to spend an afternoon if I do say so myself.  You don’t need much to make it happen; a few small glasses, a few bottles of brews and an open palate! I did a blind tasting at my party.  I feel that this makes people more adventurous, you may think you don’t like IPAs but are you really giving the beer a chance if you already have that opinion set?  Blind tastings make us a little more open to trying things that we may already think we either like or don’t like.  I used votive candle holders for my tasting cups.  I found them to be the perfect size and priced even more perfectly! I grabbed a few mini chalkboards and whipped up a little tasting template you can download here if you don’t want to make your own.  I choose 2 gluten free beers and 2 ciders for the people opting out of gluten and 4 beers of varying styles for the gluten indulgers.  I began with a lighter beer, like a pilsner, then a red ale, an IPA, and a stout.  If you need help picking out beers, someone on staff at the grocery store is sure to prove valuable and if you can’t find anyone, take a leap of faith! After all it’s just a taste!

I used old paper bags, cutting them to wrap around each label and numbered each 1-4 to correspond with the numbers I chalked up on the little boards.  Then set out your snacks in little bowls and get to tasting and talking.  Give your guests a little score card or note book so they can write up notes and when you reveal the beer they can be sure to write down their favorites to purchase later.  I have included my template below for you to use at your Beer Tasting Party.

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Perfect place setting - Beer tasting party


The Menu

Blue Cheese with Cayenne Pepper Honey

Gluten Free Pretzels

Balsamic Candied Nut Mix

Salt and Pepper Popcorn

Balsamic Candied Nut Mix - Beer tasting party

Balsamic Candied Nuts

  • Preheat your oven to 350 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Crack one egg in a mixing bowl and whisk
  • Add two tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon aged balsamic and 1 teaspoon salt to egg
  • Mix in 2 cups nuts (I used a mixture of cashews, pecans, and almonds)
  • Spread onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes
  • Let cool and break up any large clumps of nuts and serve – store in an air tight container

Blue cheese and cyan honey

Salt and Pepper Popcorn

  • Pop ¼ cup popcorn melt ¼ cup of butter and toss to coat
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cayenne Honey

Mix 2 tablespoon honey with ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Beer Tasting Card

beer tasting party

Gluten Free Snacks - Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party
Caveman Blue Cheese with Cyan honey - Beer tasting party
Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

Beer tasting party

To friends and beer,

Marcella Rose

Beer tasting party

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Nothing makes me happier than blog requests.  I think it’s for the same reason I love to cook and feed people; I love taking the time and thinking about the delight and pleasure my guests will get out of the meal that I am preparing.  It’s my truest expression of love, with each turn of the spatula, each kneed of the dough, each slice of the knife, I am thinking of who I am preparing the meal for.  How to cater to their tastes, how to make them smile, to nourish not just the body but the soul and the spirit and with this act of love, I in turn, am nourishing my own self as well; feeling full not just from the meal but of love and gratitude for being able to give the gift of food to friends and readers.  Really it’s a win-win and then, a great meal too! So when a reader or a friend requests a recipe, I can’t wait to take the time to blog it.  My co-worker and friend Ellie, has been patiently awaiting this recipe after a party at my home.  I was worried I wouldn’t have enough food for the crowd that was about to descend upon the house so at the last minute I took stock of my pantry and saw that I had all the makings of Butternut Squash Soup.  Then one- two- three, soup’s on!  This recipe is simple but oh-so filling. It shines as a first course but has enough oomph to stand alone as a main dish and is perfect for those gluten free and vegetarian guests and loved ones.

Butternut squash is incredibly versatile.  The creamy texture works great in many dishes but it reaches its full potential in soup form.  It’s so velvety and dense; it doesn’t need a lot of work or added thickeners.    You can make Butternut Squash Soup with just the squash and onion but I love to add in tart, crisp apples and a sweet potato.  I feel these two extra ingredients take this recipe to the next level of yum.  Fresh herbs make everything better so try not to use dried sage if you can help it but in a pinch it will do.  With simple recipes, the quality of the ingredients is even more important.  Finally, whenever I make a soup, be it a broth based soup like chicken noodle or a creamy soup like this one, I always, always sauté my ingredients, it pulls out the flavors and it makes all the difference in the world.  So take the time to brown your veggies before you add broth and simmer them down. You will be left with a soup that you will make you want to lick the bowl when you’re finished.

All the making of a fine pot of soup

butternut squashperfectly easy to peel sage beautiful sagele creuset full of soupButternut Squash soup

You will need:

  • 1 butternut squash, cubed*
  • 1 bunch of sage minced
  • 2 apples cubed
  • 1 onion minced
  • 1 Sweet potato cubed
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth**
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup cream or half and half (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

How to:

  • Heat butter in pan and add onion, cooking for 3 minutes or until translucent
  • Add squash (reserving 1 cup of cubed squash), potato, apples, and sage and sauté for 10 minutes
  • Add broth and bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer until vegetables are soft
  • Pour chunky soup into blender and puree
  • Pour pureed soup back into pot and add reserved cubes, simmering until reserved cubes are al dente
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and cream if desired
  • Serve

*How to prep your butternut squash:  Slice in half and remove seeds; with the flesh side down, use a peeler to remove the skin and then slice into cubes.

** For Marcella Rose’s simple chicken broth recipe click here

Soup’s on,

Marcella Rose

Butternut Squash Soup

Quick Pickled Vegetables

Quick Pickled Vegetables

Thank goodness for my friends. Really and truly, I get so much inspiration for my blog Marcella Rose’s from the fantastic meals and moments I spend with my girlfriends. It’s been hard for me since I moved away from New York and the strong group of fabulous women that I was lucky enough to call my friends.  I have been on the search since arriving in Southern Oregon and recently met yet another amazing woman.  We had dinner at her place a few weeks ago and she made spiced chicken on the bone, seared and then baked on top of cinnamon rice with loads of fresh chopped herbs, a stunning raw beet salad with fresh cracked walnuts, and baby spring greens; it was like heaven. Just what you are craving on these cold winter evenings; all spicy, hearty, and warm, full of root vegetables and baby greens, grown in warm greenhouses through the long winter months. To start, she had laid out some stunning cheeses and some quick pickled carrots. I love setting my table in the summer months with quick-pickled veggies for a fresh crunchy addition to picnics and barbeques alike but had never thought about quick-pickling root veggies in the winter months. It’s genius!

For the full blog and recipe visit My Cooking Spot! 

Quick Pickled Vegetables Quick Pickled Vegetables
Quick Pickled Vegetables
Quick Pickled Vegetables Quick Pickled Vegetables

Happy pickling!

Marcella RoseQuick Pickled Vegetables

The Noodle Bowl; Homemade Ramen {Gluten Free}

The Noodle Bowl; Homemade Ramen {Gluten Free}

I have this memory that I fantasize about constantly.  It starts, like many tales you hear of restaurant dreams.  It starts with this noodle place in London.  You would queue up to order, then sit down at one of these long family tables and wait.  The air was full of ginger and the aromas that come from homemade broth.  You would sit waiting, salivating, anticipating what was to come…the Noodle Bowl.  A bowl brimming with brothy, noodle goodness so fresh and fantastic you felt like you hadn’t lived until that very moment.

I have been dreaming about this noodle shop for years, but I finally ran into fresh rice noodles at Trader Joes.  I don’t know why it never hit me…I could…wait…I couldn’t.  Yes I could!! I could make my own noodle bowl! I could do it!!!  So I bought the noodles, found in the prepared food refrigerated section of Trader Joes and went home to test my culinary skills.  What I ended up with was nothing short of a miracle.  It was… it.  IT was the noodle bowl.  I have now made it 5 times and I could barely wait to share it with my readers.  It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s gluten free; it’s heaven in a bowl.  So let’s just get right to it.

Serves 2

The Noodle Bowl; Homemade Ramen {Gluten Free} The Noodle Bowl; Homemade Ramen {Gluten Free} The Noodle Bowl; Homemade Ramen {Gluten Free}
The Noodle Bowl; Homemade Ramen {Gluten Free}


You will need:

  • 6 cups homemade chicken broth – store bought will do in a pinch
  • 2 Tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 package rice noodles – the Trader Joes brand comes with two in a package
  • Shredded chicken reserved from your homemade broth or pre cooked
  • Bock Choy – chopped
  • Green onions – Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Gluten free Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Asian spicy sauce (Sriracha)

The Noodle Bowl; Homemade Ramen {Gluten Free}

How To:

  • Place stock in a pot and add ginger and shredded chicken
  • Bring to a boil
  • While stock is coming to a boil, make sauce
  • Mix equal parts Gluten free Soy Sauce, Sesame oil and hot sauce and mix
  • Once stock has come to a boil add rice noodles and cook as directed on package
  • 1 minute before the noodles finish, add bok choy and green onion
  • Boil one minute more
  • Ladle into bowls dividing evenly (or not J)
  • Spoon in desired amount of sauce and serve.

Happy slurping!

Marcella Rose

The Noodle Bowl; Homemade Ramen {Gluten Free}

Game Day Spread {Gluten Free}

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So there are sports happening I hear.   Now, don’t get mad, but unless it’s soccer, I am rarely paying attention. However, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE throwing a game day bash.  I am not sure which ones, or how many, or how close we are to the Super Series or World Open or Final Bowl or whatever you call it but… game on right!!!

We all know the normal spread, wings, pizza, and all things fried, greasy and wonderful. But just because that is always how it’s done doesn’t mean there aren’t any other options.  What about a game day that is filled with food, that is good for you, but also so tasty the men keep digging in?  Well readers look no further, I am bringing you a little healthy spread  for this game season…time….event-bowl; you get it.  So I threw together some super healthy and super quick game day snacks.  What is even more exciting is that it all tastes fantastic; this Hot-Damn Cauliflower will have you licking your lips and tips of your fingers begging for more…trust me.  Serve this spread with a crisp fall, hard-cider and it is Gluten Free to boot!  The best part is the day after game day you are going to feel like a million bucks!! What more could you ask for?

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Menu

Hot Damn Cauliflower – with blue cheese yogurt dip

Broiled Baby Bell Peppers

Braised Asparagus

Cheesy Kale Chips


spicy-kale

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Recipes 

Hot Damn Cauliflower Hot Wings  – recipe at My Cooking Spot

Cheesy Kale Chips – recipe at My Cooking Spot

Broiled Baby Bell Pepper

  • Preheat Broiler
  • Rinse and dry peppers
  • Toss in 1 Tablespoon of Olive oil to coat
  • Roast until blistered about 7 mins turning once halfway through

Braised Asparagus

  • Preheat Broiler
  • Cut the hard ends off of rinsed asparagus
  • Toss in 1 Tablespoon of Olive oil to coat
  • Sprinkle with steak seasoning
  • Broil turning once until brown but not soggy about 3 mins (more for thicker asparagus)

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go head, get your game on!

Marcella Rose

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